State Council office criticizes veto of HK universal suffrage motion

Updated: 2015-06-18 20:43


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BEIJING -- The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council on Thursday criticized the Hong Kong lawmakers who voted against a motion of universal suffrage for the region's chief executive election.

Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) on Thursday rejected a motion that proposed universal suffrage for selecting the region's next chief executive in 2017.

After a nine-hour debate which started on Wednesday, 28 lawmakers of the 70 LegCo members voted against the motion.

That is to say, universal suffrage will not be used in the 2017 election and the region's chief executive will be elected by a committee, just as it used to be, said a statement by the State Council office.

This result runs counter to mainstream opinion in Hong Kong and is not an outcome the central government is willing to see, the statement said.

The statement said the motion was proposed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government after listening to opinions from all walks of life in Hong Kong and it is in line with the Hong Kong Basic Law and relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

"However, a handful of Hong Kong legislators voted against the motion out of their private interests, hindering the democratic development in Hong Kong and blowing an important opportunity for Hong Kong to realize the election by universal suffrage, a result they should be held responsible for," it said.

Also, the statement went on that "we fully acknowledge and support the remarks by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on this event and highly appreciate the efforts of Hong Kong administration and people from all walks of life in Hong Kong in promoting progress regarding the universal suffrage."

The office further pledged to "unswervingly" implement the "one country, two systems" policy, and "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy.

It also pledged to support the SAR government and chief executive in governing according to law, and to support the SAR government in a "lawful" and "step-wise" democratic development till the universal suffrage is realized eventually.

The statement said the central government ardently hopes that all social sectors of Hong Kong could unite under the leadership of the SAR government and chief executive, and concentrate on developing economy, improving people's lives and maintaining social harmony, so as to keep Hong Kong prosperous and stable in the long run.